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Sony's PlayStation 2 is the best-selling game system overall with over 155 million units worldwide.[1]

A video game console is a standardized computing device tailored for video gaming that requires a monitor or television set as an output.[2] These self-contained pieces of electronic equipment[2] weigh between 2 and 9 pounds (1–4 kg) on average,[3] and their compact size allows them to be easily used in a variety of locations with an electrical outlet.[3] Handheld controllers are commonly used as input devices. Video game consoles may use one or more storage media like hard disk drives, optical discs, and memory cards for content.[3] Each are usually developed by a single business organization.[2] Dedicated consoles are a subset of these devices only able to play built-in games.[4][5] Gaming consoles in general are also described as "dedicated" in distinction from the more versatile personal computer and other consumer electronics.[6][7][8] Sanders Associates engineer Ralph H. Baer along with company employees Bill Harrison and Bill Rusch licensed their television gaming technology to contemporary major TV manufacturer Magnavox. This resulted in Magnavox Odyssey's 1972 release—the first commercially available video game console.[9]

A handheld game console is a lightweight device with a built-in screen, games controls, speakers,[10] and has greater portability than a standard video game console.[3] It is capable of playing multiple games unlike tabletop and handheld electronic game devices. Tabletop and handheld electronic game devices of the 1970s and 1980s are the precursors of handheld game consoles.[11] Mattel introduced the first handheld electronic game with the 1977 release of Auto Race.[12] Later, several companies—including Coleco and Milton Bradley—made their own single-game, lightweight tabletop or handheld electronic game devices.[13] The oldest handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges is the Milton Bradley Microvision in 1979.[14] Nintendo is credited with popularizing the handheld console concept with the Game Boy's release in 1989[11] and continues to dominate the handheld console market.[15][16]

Contents

Best-selling game consolesEdit

The Nintendo DS product line are the best-selling handheld consoles, selling 154.02 million units worldwide. The original sold 18.79 million units. The majority of sales came from the DS Lite at 93.86 million units.[17]
Latter two members of the DS product line, the DSi and DSi XL, helped to further drive sales by moving 41.37 million units combined.[17]

The following tables contain video game consoles and handheld game consoles that have sold at least 1 million units worldwide either through to consumers or inside retail channels. Each console include sales from every iteration unless otherwise noted. The years correspond to when the home or handheld game console was first released—excluding test markets. Each year links to the corresponding "year in video gaming".

Hardware firms shaded  Atari ,  Microsoft ,  Nintendo ,  Sega  or  Sony  have more than two consoles listed; those with a white background do not.

    Background shading indicates current generation consoles on the market.
    Dagger glyph indicates dedicated consoles.
    Double-dagger glyph indicates hybrid video game consoles.
Million-selling game consoles
Platform Firm Released[2] Units sold Ref.
PlayStation 2 Sony 2000 >155 million [note 1]
Nintendo DS Nintendo 2004 154.02 million [17]
Game Boy, Game Boy Color Nintendo 1989, 1998 118.69 million [note 2]
PlayStation Sony 1994 102.49 million [32]
Wii Nintendo 2006 101.63 million [17]
PlayStation 4   Sony 2013 100 million [21]
PlayStation 3 Sony 2006 >87.4 million [note 1]
Xbox 360 Microsoft 2005 >84 million [note 3]
Game Boy Advance Nintendo 2001 81.51 million [17]
PlayStation Portable Sony 2004 80–82 million
(estimate)
[note 1]
Nintendo 3DS   Nintendo 2011 75.28 million [38]
Nintendo Entertainment System Nintendo 1983 61.91 million [17]
Super Nintendo Entertainment System Nintendo 1990 49.1 million [17]
Xbox One   Microsoft 2013 41 million
(estimate)
[note 3]
Nintendo Switch    Nintendo 2017 36.87 million [38]
Sega Genesis Sega 1988 35 million [note 4][39]
Nintendo 64 Nintendo 1996 32.93 million [17]
Atari 2600 Atari 1977 30 million [40]
Xbox Microsoft 2001 24 million [41]
GameCube Nintendo 2001 21.74 million [17]
Wii U Nintendo 2012 13.56 million [17]
Sega Game Gear Sega 1990 10.62 million [42]
PlayStation Vita Sony 2011 10–15 million
(estimate)
[note 1]
Master System Sega 1986 10–13 million [note 5]
TurboGrafx-16 NEC/Hudson Soft
[note 6]
1987 10 million [50]
Sega Saturn Sega 1994 9.26 million [51]
Dreamcast Sega 1998 9.13 million [51][52][53][54]
Super NES Classic Edition   Nintendo 2017 5.28 million [55]
Sega Pico Sega 1993 >3.4 million [note 7]
WonderSwan Bandai 1999 3.5 million [note 8]
Color TV-Game   Nintendo 1977 3 million [64][65]
Intellivision Mattel 1980 3 million [66]
N-Gage Nokia 2003 3 million [67]
NES Classic Edition   Nintendo 2016 2.3 million [68]
ColecoVision Coleco 1982 >2 million [note 9]
Magnavox Odyssey² Magnavox/Philips 1978 2 million [72]
Atari Lynx Atari 1989 >1 million [note 10]
Philips CD-i Philips 1991 >1 million [note 11]
Telstar   Coleco 1976 >1 million [77][note 12]
Atari 5200 Atari 1982 1 million [79]

>Final sales are greater than the reported figure. See notes.

Home game consolesEdit

Only the PlayStation, Wii, and PlayStation 4 join the PlayStation 2 in home consoles surpassing 100 million units sold.
 
The first popular home console, the Atari 2600 (1980 version pictured), was released in 1977.[80]
Million-selling home game consoles
Platform Firm Released[2] Units sold Ref.
PlayStation 2 Sony 2000 >155 million [note 1]
PlayStation Sony 1994 102.49 million [32]
Wii Nintendo 2006 101.63 million [17]
PlayStation 4   Sony 2013 100 million [21]
PlayStation 3 Sony 2006 >87.4 million [note 1]
Xbox 360 Microsoft 2005 >84 million [note 3]
Nintendo Entertainment System Nintendo 1983 61.91 million [17]
Super Nintendo Entertainment System Nintendo 1990 49.10 million [17]
Xbox One   Microsoft 2013 41 million
(estimate)
[note 3]
Nintendo Switch    Nintendo 2017 36.87 million [38]
Sega Genesis Sega 1988 35 million [note 4][39]
Nintendo 64 Nintendo 1996 32.93 million [17]
Atari 2600 Atari 1977 30 million [40]
Xbox Microsoft 2001 24 million [41]
GameCube Nintendo 2001 21.74 million [17]
Wii U Nintendo 2012 13.56 million [17]
Master System Sega 1986 10–13 million [note 5]
TurboGrafx-16 NEC/Hudson Soft
[note 6]
1987 10 million [50]
Sega Saturn Sega 1994 9.26 million [51]
Dreamcast Sega 1998 9.13 million [51][52][53][54]
Sega Pico Sega 1993 >3.4 million [note 7]
Intellivision Mattel 1980 3 million [66]
ColecoVision Coleco 1982 >2 million [note 9]
Magnavox Odyssey² Magnavox/Philips 1978 2 million [72]
Philips CD-i Philips 1991 >1 million [note 11]
Atari 5200 Atari 1982 1 million [79]

>Final sales are greater than the reported figure. See notes.

Handheld game consolesEdit

 
Sony's PlayStation Portable signified the company's debut in the handheld market. Forbes editor Penelope Patsuris noted "The competition marks the first time that a company with real clout has challenged the lock that Nintendo has had on handheld gaming for 15 years."[15]
Million-selling handheld game consoles
Platform Firm Released[2] Units sold Ref.
Nintendo DS Nintendo 2004 154.02 million [17]
Game Boy, Game Boy Color Nintendo 1989, 1998 118.69 million [note 2]
Game Boy Advance Nintendo 2001 81.51 million [17]
PlayStation Portable Sony 2004 80–82 million
(estimate)
[note 1]
Nintendo 3DS   Nintendo 2011 75.28 million [38]
Nintendo Switch    Nintendo 2017 36.87 million [38]
Sega Game Gear Sega 1990 10.62 million [42]
PlayStation Vita Sony 2011 10–15 million
(estimate)
[note 1]
WonderSwan Bandai 1999 3.5 million [note 8]
N-Gage Nokia 2003 3 million [67]
Atari Lynx Atari 1989 >1 million [note 10]

>Final sales are greater than the reported figure. See notes.

Dedicated consolesEdit

Million-selling dedicated game consoles
Platform Firm Released[2] Units sold Ref.
Super NES Classic Edition Nintendo 2017 5.28 million [55]
Color TV Game Nintendo 1977 3 million [64][65]
NES Classic Edition Nintendo 2016 2.3 million [68]
Telstar Coleco 1976 >1 million [77][note 12]

>Final sales are greater than the reported figure. See notes.

Total console sales by firmEdit

Total amount of every console with at least 1 million units sold.

Console sales by firm
Manufacturer Home
console sales
Handheld
console sales
Total sales
Nintendo 317.74 million 429.9 million 754 million[84]
Sony >444.89 million >90 million >534.9 million[85]
Microsoft 149 million 149 million
Sega 63.64–66.64 million >14.02 million >80.66 million
Atari 31 million >1 million >32 million
Hudson Soft/NEC 10 million 10 million
Bandai 3.5 million 3.5 million
Coleco >3 million >3 million
Magnavox/Philips >3 million >3 million
Mattel 3 million 3 million
Nokia 3 million 3 million

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Sony stopped divulging individual platform sales starting with 2012 fiscal reports,[18][19] and continues to sporadically.[20] PlayStation 2: 155 million units sold as of March 31, 2012.[21] It was discontinued worldwide on January 4, 2013.[22] PlayStation 3: Sony corporate data reports 87.4 million sold as of March 31, 2017.[21] PS3 shipments to Japanese retailers, the last country Sony was selling units to, ceased by May.[23] PlayStation Portable: 76.4 million units sold as of March 31, 2012.[21] An June 3, 2014 Associated Press report noted this was "the last time a tally was taken."[24] IGN's Evan Campbell reported on the same day around 80 million sold,[25] and Jordan Sirani reaffirmed Campbell's estimate 5 years later.[26] Shipments to North America ended in January 2014, and to Japan in June 2014. Shipments to Europe ended during the latter part of 2014.[24] IGN's Colin Moriarty reported in mid-November that 82 million PSPs were manufactured and shipped at end of production.[27] PlayStation Vita: Third-party estimates range from 10–15 million.[28] Glixel stated in June 2017 that 15 million were sold,[29] while the Electronic Entertainment Design and Research suggests a couple million less by end of 2015.[30] Production ceased in Japan in March 2019.[28]
  2. ^ a b Nintendo only provided a combined sales total.[31] Before Game Boy Color's release in late-1998,[2] previous models sold 64.42 million units combined worldwide.[17]
  3. ^ a b c d Microsoft announced in October 2015 that individual platform sales in their fiscal reports will no longer be disclosed. The company shifted focus to the amount of active users on Xbox Live as its "primary metric of success".[33] Active XBox Live subscribers reached 59 million by March 2018.[34]Xbox 360: Sold 84 million as of June 2014.[35] Production ended in 2016.[36]Xbox One: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled at a December 3, 2014 shareholder presentation that 10 million units were sold.[37] Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad estimated 41 million units were sold by the end of 2018.[26]
  4. ^ a b 30.75 million sold by Sega worldwide as of March 1996,[42][51] not including third-party sales. In addition, Tec Toy sold 3 million in Brazil,[81][82] and Majesco Entertainment projected it would sell 1.5 million in the United States.[83]
  5. ^ a b 10–13 million, not including recent Brazil sales figures.[43][44] Screen Digest wrote in a 1995 publication that the Master System's active installed user base in Western Europe peaked at 6.25 million in 1993. Those countries that peaked are France at 1.6 million, the United Kingdom at 1.35 million, Germany at 700 thousand, Spain at 550 thousand, the Netherlands at 200 thousand, and other Western European countries at 1.4 million. However, Belgium peaked in 1991 with 600 thousand, and Italy in 1992 with 400 thousand. Thus it is estimated approximately 6.8 million units were purchased in this part of Europe.[45] 1 million were sold in Japan as of 1986.[46] 2 million were sold in the United States.[47] 8 million were sold by Tectoy in Brazil as of 2016.[48]
  6. ^ a b Designed by Hudson and manufactured and marketed by NEC.[49]
  7. ^ a b Sega sold this amount as of April 2005.[56] Its successor launched on August 6, 2005.[57] Majesco re-manufactured and distributed the Pico in the United States starting at the end of 1999.[58]
  8. ^ a b Bandai released three WonderSwan iterations.[59] A March 2003 Famitsu article reported the original (March 1999)[60] and color (December 2000)[60] versions sold approximately 3 million units combined,[61] while the SwanCrystal (July 2002)[59] sold over 200 thousand units.[61] Bandai announced the transition from hardware to third-party development in February 2003 due to declining sales and will supply software to the competitor's Game Boy Advance by March 2004.[62] Average weekly Famitsu sales during the transition were only a couple hundred units,[1] and the SwanCrystal went build to order starting in autumn 2003.[61] WonderSwan hardware designer Koto claimed over 3.5 million were sold.[63]
  9. ^ a b The ColecoVision reached 2 million units sold by the spring of 1984. Console quarterly sales dramatically decreased at this time, but it continued to sell modestly[69][70] with most inventory gone by October 1985.[71]
  10. ^ a b The Wall Street Journal reported in November 1992 approximately 1 million were sold.[73] Around June 1994, Atari shifted its focus from the Lynx to its Jaguar console.[74]
  11. ^ a b This Philips-reported figure was in The New York Times on September 15, 1994.[75] The CD-i was discontinued in 1998.[76]
  12. ^ a b Coleco launched Telstar in 1976 and sold a million. Production and delivery issues, and dedicated consoles being replaced by electronic handheld games dramatically reduced sales in 1977. Over a million Telstars were scrapped in 1978, and it cost Coleco $22.3 million that year[70]—almost bankrupting the company.[78]

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1 WonderSwan Famitsu sources

2 Release year sources

Bibliography